The Civil War Connections Blog

“I will go to-night!”

Bushnell immediately traveled to New York to entreat John Ericsson to come back with him to Washington DC.  Ericsson was adamant in his refusal to speak with the Navy – he was still smarting from their misplaced censure from the USS Princeton incident in 1844.  Bushnell would have to play to Ericsson’s vanity to get the imperious Swede to Washington.

Bushnell told Ericsson, “Paulding says that your boat would be the thing to punish those Rebels at Charleston.” He continued, “You have a friend in Washington – Commodore Smith.  He worships you.  He says those plans are worthy of the genius of an Ericsson.”

Then he slyly mentioned that “Captain Davis wants a little explanation in detail which I could not give.”


But Ericsson could explain. So he announced, “I will go to-night!” Bushnell knew that the success of the affair was assured.


The electric battery was on his way to the capital.